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Old 10-03-2018, 11:45 AM
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Presenting my third novel, sci-fi thriller "Spindown"


So I just published my third novel, and I'd like to tell the Dope about it. I posted about my first two here in Cafe Society, so I'm assuming that it's still okay to do so. It's available as an ebook right now; if it somehow becomes a hit, I'll make a paperback version.

It's called "Spindown", and it's a murder-mystery/thriller in space. Here's the back cover blurb (ebooks don't have back covers, but you get the idea):

Quote:
Cyrus Konami is the Chief Inspector on the first colony vessel, Aotea, to leave Earth's solar system. Deep within the machinery of the ship, a suspicious death upends the routine on board. Mysterious signals from deep space add to the confusion, along with a series of debilitating malfunctions.

Cy and Lieutenant Beatriz Mattoso dig into the deceased crewman's background. The first signs point to a tragic accident. Ship scuttlebutt points to the deep-space signals -- is a mysterious force trying to prevent humanity from spreading into deep space? Or are the radical pacifists and cultural separatists who funded the journey somehow involved?

With an increasingly uncooperative populace, a shocking assassination attempt, and a spaceship falling apart around them, Cy and Bea must unravel secrets that threaten the lives of thousands before it's too late!
The wonderful cover art is by Doper GuanoLad -- book covers are a regular gig for him, and here is his website.

I'm selling it in two forms -- the entire book on various online retailers (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and possibly a few others), and serially, broken up into Parts One through Five, with Part One free to download (at Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and a few others, but sadly Amazon does not allow me to upload a free ebook). Smashwords offers both in multiple formats.

Neither of my previous books sold particularly well, but it was still fun to write them and get feedback on them. I'm confident this is my best book by far. For one thing, it's not derivative in any way -- my first two were either inspired by or satirizing George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire". This one is an entirely original setting and story. This is also my first sci-fi novel -- the other two are fantasy. And finally, this was the most extensively edited, and the only book on which I worked with a professional editor. I did submit to publishers and literary agents for over a year, with a lot of nibbles, a bit of serious interest, but ultimately no takers, unfortunately, so I decided to self publish again. I hope folks will give the links above a look -- and I'll encourage sci-fi fans who don't want to shell out money to give the free Part One a try.

If you'd like to read it but can't obtain it at any of the links above for whatever reason, please let me know and I'll find some way to get the book to you. Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:56 AM
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Heh. Funny to see this right under the "Are "Free E-Books" sites just portals for self-published drivel?" thread.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:25 PM
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Congratulations!
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Heh. Funny to see this right under the "Are "Free E-Books" sites just portals for self-published drivel?" thread.
Heh. Yeah, I came her to point that out, glad you did it first!

Congrats! You're on my list of books to read but I'm waaaaay behind on that.
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:26 PM
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Congratulations!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Heh. Yeah, I came her to point that out, glad you did it first!

Congrats! You're on my list of books to read but I'm waaaaay behind on that.
Thanks to you as well. Hope you get to it soon!
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:42 PM
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I did the thing! It's on my Kindle.

I'm glad you got the cover and the professional copy editor. It makes a huge difference.

I'll be checking out a few of guanolad's books too. (Books that he covered, I mean.) Those are some spiffy covers!
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:54 PM
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Sold.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:59 PM
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[Moderating]

Since this is basically selling something of yours, it doesn't belong anywhere outside of the Marketplace forum. But since you're a paying member, and so could have started it there, and because I'm in a good mood, I'll just move it over there instead of closing it.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
I did the thing! It's on my Kindle.

I'm glad you got the cover and the professional copy editor. It makes a huge difference.

I'll be checking out a few of guanolad's books too. (Books that he covered, I mean.) Those are some spiffy covers!
Great! I hope you enjoy it.

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Originally Posted by Dung Beetle View Post
Sold.
I hope you enjoy it as well!

As an aside, I'm sad that my thread got moved to Marketplace.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 10-03-2018 at 07:52 PM.
  #10  
Old 10-06-2018, 09:23 AM
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I also posted Part One on Medium: https://medium.com/@iiandyiiii/spind...e-eb17d05dac12
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:32 AM
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I'll be checking out a few of guanolad's books too. (Books that he covered, I mean.) Those are some spiffy covers!
Hurrah! I really need to update it, there are three or four new books I need to add to the list. Including Andy's of course!
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:23 PM
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Sounds good so I took a look but sadly not available on Amazon UK
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Springtime for Spacers View Post
Sounds good so I took a look but sadly not available on Amazon UK
It should be, but if you're having trouble finding it there, you can still get it on Smashwords (first link is the free Part One, second link is the entire book for sale):

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/898019

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/895991

If this still doesn't work for you, PM me what format you'd like and your email address and I'll email you a copy of Part One.

EDIT: Here is the Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07HVWCFFJ

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 10-06-2018 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:03 PM
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Andy, wow! That was a really good book, it hooked me fast and I couldn’t put it down.

And I’m not just saying that. There’s a reason I didn’t post about buying it before I read it. Because I’ve had friends that self-published books that I couldn’t get through. Frequently. In which case I would’ve just not posted anything.

I decided to try it because I do like sci-fi books set on colony/generation spaceships, but a lot of those lose me especially when they go military. I certainly didn’t expect to be up until 3AM because I couldn’t put it down.

I’d love to read a sequel, maybe one set on on Samwise. ( hint hint )

Now I’m not much of a book reviewer but I wrote one which should show up on Amazon soon. Here’s what I wrote:

************************************************
“I’m usually skeptical of books by lesser known authors, especially science fiction novels. So many of them sound good but quickly break down due to unwieldy story lines and one dimensional characters.
Happily, this one was different - once I got started I was quickly hooked and couldn’t put it down.
This book was captivating, with a suspenseful story line and compelling characters. The physical and social structure of the spaceship was beautifully imagined and easily visualized and the political intrigue added dimension to the action/adventure. It somewhat reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Aurora” and I highly recommend it. I hope there is a sequel in the works.”
**********************************************

Nice work and thanks!

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 10-14-2018 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia View Post
Andy, wow! That was a really good book, it hooked me fast and I couldnít put it down.

And Iím not just saying that. Thereís a reason I didnít post about buying it before I read it. Because Iíve had friends that self-published books that I couldnít get through. Frequently. In which case I wouldíve just not posted anything.

I decided to try it because I do like sci-fi books set on colony/generation spaceships, but a lot of those lose me especially when they go military. I certainly didnít expect to be up until 3AM because I couldnít put it down.

Iíd love to read a sequel, maybe one set on on Samwise. ( hint hint )

Now Iím not much of a book reviewer but I wrote one which should show up on Amazon soon. Hereís what I wrote:

************************************************
ďIím usually skeptical of books by lesser known authors, especially science fiction novels. So many of them sound good but quickly break down due to unwieldy story lines and one dimensional characters.
Happily, this one was different - once I got started I was quickly hooked and couldnít put it down.
This book was captivating, with a suspenseful story line and compelling characters. The physical and social structure of the spaceship was beautifully imagined and easily visualized and the political intrigue added dimension to the action/adventure. It somewhat reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinsonís ďAuroraĒ and I highly recommend it. I hope there is a sequel in the works.Ē
**********************************************

Nice work and thanks!
Wow, this made my weekend! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! There really is nothing more satisfying to an author than hearing that their work was enjoyed. And I'm so grateful you posted the review on Amazon -- positive user reviews are probably the most helpful thing for getting books sold.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:34 PM
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If you'd like to try and win a free copy of the ebook (and you live in the US), you can enter the giveaway contest at this link: https://www.amazon.com/ga/p/af976f56466974c7
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:36 AM
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Available now in paperback! US and UK links below:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0463237862

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0463237862

Also, got my third 5 star review! Kind of short, but still nice: "Takes place a couple hundred years in the future on the spaceship "Aotea" en route to the moon Samwise. The ship is elaborately imagined. I like the sparks between the characters Konami and Madani. Eventually this takes a violent turn."

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HVWCFFJ#customerReviews
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:58 AM
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I just started your book, Andy, and I really like it. Engrossing!

I think I agree with this semi-political tidbit as well:
Quote:
Maybe the SNH guys really were onto something, getting rid of Earth media. Decades before the expedition left the lazy orbit around a medium sized asteroid in the belt, the Society for a New Humanity had laid down specifications for the media that was allowed onboard, even if they couldnít actually enforce those rules until they left the system. Chief among those restricted were those vids and texts believed to glorify aggression or dishonesty.
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:08 AM
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I just started your book, Andy, and I really like it. Engrossing!

I think I agree with this semi-political tidbit as well:
Thanks so much for giving it a try, and I'm very glad you're enjoying it!

And (forgive me!) I'll encourage you to go to the CS thread (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=863462) for further discussion when you finish the book, if you're keen, since CS gets a lot more eyeballs.

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Old 10-31-2018, 06:53 PM
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I downloaded the book onto my Kindle earlier tonight and am up to chapter 5. Very good read.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:10 PM
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I downloaded the book onto my Kindle earlier tonight and am up to chapter 5. Very good read.
Fantastic! I'm so glad you're enjoying it, and thank you for giving it a try.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:42 AM
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Congrats! I will download and read it.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:55 AM
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Congrats! I will download and read it.
Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:37 PM
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New review -- very thoughtful and positive from book blogger "Tome Tender": http://tometender.blogspot.com/2018/...-crawford.html
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:28 AM
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I just finished the free Part I and enjoyed it very much. But I don't understand something on the Kobo site. They have Spindown part 1 (free) and parts 2,3,4,5, all at CAD 1.29 which is cheap enough although I would prefer having the book in one piece. But they also have a single book called Spindown at C$0.99. All of them have the same synopsis and the same cover. Had that last been 5.99 or something I would have assumed it was the whole book but at 99 that seems less likely. Can you explain?
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:22 PM
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I just finished the free Part I and enjoyed it very much. But I don't understand something on the Kobo site. They have Spindown part 1 (free) and parts 2,3,4,5, all at CAD 1.29 which is cheap enough although I would prefer having the book in one piece. But they also have a single book called Spindown at C$0.99. All of them have the same synopsis and the same cover. Had that last been 5.99 or something I would have assumed it was the whole book but at 99 that seems less likely. Can you explain?
I'm so glad you liked Part 1! That is the whole book at .99 currently. The whole book is heavily discounted right now in preparation for a promotion (Bookbub) that will be running in a few days - this is my first time working with them, and I wanted to make sure extra early that there were no hiccups in the discount pricing they require. So I set the discount price now to make sure it was represented in all the various marketplaces. Please take advantage! And if you do, let me know what you think of the whole book.
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Last edited by iiandyiiii; 12-29-2018 at 02:22 PM.
  #27  
Old 12-29-2018, 02:23 PM
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Interesting. I always like writings of "underground" writers
Please give it a try! You can download Part 1 for free (check the links in the first post of this thread).
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Last edited by iiandyiiii; 12-29-2018 at 02:25 PM.
  #28  
Old 12-29-2018, 04:00 PM
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Okay, I got it for .99 (+.15 tax) and I will leave a positive review. There is a misprint somewhere in part 1, the word "sigh" came out as "sign".
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:51 PM
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I am now up to Chapter 50 and came across the line, "Truth doesn't have an ideology." Really? It does now.

I recommend the book unreservedly. Well written and a page turner. And pure SF. Most of what passes as SF these days is fantasy. Actually, probably always was. FTL drives, telepathy, instant communications are not any science we know.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:14 PM
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I am now up to Chapter 50 and came across the line, "Truth doesn't have an ideology." Really? It does now.

I recommend the book unreservedly. Well written and a page turner. And pure SF. Most of what passes as SF these days is fantasy. Actually, probably always was. FTL drives, telepathy, instant communications are not any science we know.
Fantastic! I'm so glad you're enjoying it. I'll be looking forward to reading your full thoughts once you're done.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:45 AM
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It showed up in my morning Bookbub email, so now is the time to get it. Does it make any difference to you (Andy, the author) where we purchase the book from? That is, does Smashwords, say, give you a bigger cut than Amazon or Kobo? (I've got accounts at all three, so I'll purchase it from whichever gives you the best cut.)
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by W0X0F View Post
It showed up in my morning Bookbub email, so now is the time to get it. Does it make any difference to you (Andy, the author) where we purchase the book from? That is, does Smashwords, say, give you a bigger cut than Amazon or Kobo? (I've got accounts at all three, so I'll purchase it from whichever gives you the best cut.)
Great! This is my first Bookbub promotion, and so far the sales are (relatively speaking) through the roof!

Smashwords gives me the best cut. Though if you write reviews, I think Amazon's user reviews (and maybe Goodreads too) are the most influential, so that would be my preference since I'm still trying to build buzz. Thanks so much for giving it a chance, and I hope you enjoy it!

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 01-04-2019 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:08 PM
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Wow, this promotion is quite a hit for me in Canada. Right now Spindown is the #1 sci-fi Kindle book in Amazon Canada, and the #58 Kindle book of any genre: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07HVWCFFJ
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:53 PM
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I read it and enjoyed it a lot. It hit all the right hard sci-fi buttons for me.

Something I have a hard time articulating: I've read (or started to read) a number of self-published books, as well as some written by basically unknown authors. And there is a certain vibe that comes from them with respect to the writing and characterization. I can't put my finger on what's wrong except to say that it's amateurish. Your book did not trigger that vibe for me at all. No author is perfect but there is a certain threshold of professionalism that many authors never cross, but you have.

Minor quibbles:
- I don't remember exactly where (near the end), but there is a "here" instead of a "hear".
- At one point you describe a hatch as weighing 50 kg on Earth, but in the low gravity of the Aotea it weighs 15 kg. This is not exactly right--kilograms are a unit of mass and a 50 kg object masses 50 kg everywhere. This isn't an academic distinction either, since inertia is affected by mass, and even if a person can lift a massive object, they will still have to be careful with slinging it around. Not a big deal, and people (on Earth) miss this distinction all the time, but on Aotea people would have to make allowance for the difference between inertial mass and weight.
- I would have done without the various cultural references (Helm's Deep, etc.). They're infrequent enough that they sorta stand out awkwardly. I don't mind references if the whole book is going for that feel, as with The Martian or Ready Player One, but it felt that your overall tone was more serious, and against that I don't think they fit well.

Less minor, but understandable:
SPOILER:
This isn't unique to your book by any means, and I'm mostly able to look past it, but the "organization infiltrated by long-lived and widespread conspiracy" is a somewhat hard to swallow trope. It's just really difficult to believe that a conspiracy of hundreds (thousands?) could remain dormant for decades, with supplies of weaponry and other things, and never be detected. Or that someone like Gregorian could have a suicidal devotion to the cause and yet remain friends with Konami for years without anyone being the wiser. People just can't isolate their beliefs to that degree. Konami in particular is a good detective and would have noticed something.

Again, this isn't unique to your book and certainly doesn't ruin it. And you did spend some effort in explaining some parts (such as that most of the conspiracy didn't know the real plans). Nevertheless, that did kinda stick in the back of my mind as I was reading it.


At any rate, I look forward to your future books, and would love to see a sequel or at least something set in the same universe.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
I read it and enjoyed it a lot. It hit all the right hard sci-fi buttons for me.

Something I have a hard time articulating: I've read (or started to read) a number of self-published books, as well as some written by basically unknown authors. And there is a certain vibe that comes from them with respect to the writing and characterization. I can't put my finger on what's wrong except to say that it's amateurish. Your book did not trigger that vibe for me at all. No author is perfect but there is a certain threshold of professionalism that many authors never cross, but you have.
Thanks very much for this. Obviously this is what I'm aiming for, and it's incredibly satisfying to have strangers with no stake tell me that I've accomplished it. And I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

Quote:
Minor quibbles:
- I don't remember exactly where (near the end), but there is a "here" instead of a "hear".
- At one point you describe a hatch as weighing 50 kg on Earth, but in the low gravity of the Aotea it weighs 15 kg. This is not exactly right--kilograms are a unit of mass and a 50 kg object masses 50 kg everywhere. This isn't an academic distinction either, since inertia is affected by mass, and even if a person can lift a massive object, they will still have to be careful with slinging it around. Not a big deal, and people (on Earth) miss this distinction all the time, but on Aotea people would have to make allowance for the difference between inertial mass and weight.
- I would have done without the various cultural references (Helm's Deep, etc.). They're infrequent enough that they sorta stand out awkwardly. I don't mind references if the whole book is going for that feel, as with The Martian or Ready Player One, but it felt that your overall tone was more serious, and against that I don't think they fit well.

Less minor, but understandable:
SPOILER:
This isn't unique to your book by any means, and I'm mostly able to look past it, but the "organization infiltrated by long-lived and widespread conspiracy" is a somewhat hard to swallow trope. It's just really difficult to believe that a conspiracy of hundreds (thousands?) could remain dormant for decades, with supplies of weaponry and other things, and never be detected. Or that someone like Gregorian could have a suicidal devotion to the cause and yet remain friends with Konami for years without anyone being the wiser. People just can't isolate their beliefs to that degree. Konami in particular is a good detective and would have noticed something.

Again, this isn't unique to your book and certainly doesn't ruin it. And you did spend some effort in explaining some parts (such as that most of the conspiracy didn't know the real plans). Nevertheless, that did kinda stick in the back of my mind as I was reading it.
Thanks for the thoughtful criticism. I'll definitely take it onboard for consideration on my upcoming books.

Quote:
At any rate, I look forward to your future books, and would love to see a sequel or at least something set in the same universe.
If it becomes successful, I'll definitely consider this! And I'm surprised that multiple readers have asked for sequels -- I thought of this as a relatively self-contained story, but I suppose there is plenty of room for interesting events among a crew of thousands on a decades-long journey in deep space.

If possible, I'd greatly appreciate a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or whatever other ebook sites with which you have an account. Reader reviews are by far the best way to convince other skeptical readers to give my book a try.
  #36  
Old 01-05-2019, 08:07 PM
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And I'm surprised that multiple readers have asked for sequels -- I thought of this as a relatively self-contained story, but I suppose there is plenty of room for interesting events among a crew of thousands on a decades-long journey in deep space.
You did a great job with the world-building. Aside from further stories on Aotea, there are stories on Samwise, or on a different colony ship (we know that Earth got serious about interstellar colonization after the comet scare), or Ceres in the early SNH days, or the immediate consequences after development of the Forwood drive, etc. So many stories here!

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If possible, I'd greatly appreciate a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or whatever other ebook sites with which you have an account. Reader reviews are by far the best way to convince other skeptical readers to give my book a try.
Done! (Amazon)
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
You did a great job with the world-building. Aside from further stories on Aotea, there are stories on Samwise, or on a different colony ship (we know that Earth got serious about interstellar colonization after the comet scare), or Ceres in the early SNH days, or the immediate consequences after development of the Forwood drive, etc. So many stories here!
Thanks! World-building is actually the writing activity I enjoy most. I'm really glad you noticed the "comet scare" stuff -- I couldn't conceive of a realistic way that humanity might actually decide to colonize the solar system and consider expanding beyond, without such a threat as a motivator, at least not for the next few hundred years.

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Done! (Amazon)
Awesome! Thanks so much!
  #38  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:09 PM
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I grabbed it for my Kindle app, you have an interesting premise and the reviews look good so why not. I’ll leave a review on Amazon after I’m done.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
I grabbed it for my Kindle app, you have an interesting premise and the reviews look good so why not. I’ll leave a review on Amazon after I’m done.
Thanks, and I hope you enjoy it! I look forward to reading your review.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:45 AM
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Aussie book review site Dark Hints Reviews loved my book! https://darkhintsreviews.com/spindown-andy-crawford

Nice surprise yesterday. And most of my sales lately have been in Australia, for some reason. No idea why.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:24 AM
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Damn, another book I'll have to download into my Kobo. I'm looking forward to it as I just finished the latest Expanse novel and need more time in Space...
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  #42  
Old 09-17-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
Damn, another book I'll have to download into my Kobo. I'm looking forward to it as I just finished the latest Expanse novel and need more time in Space...
Somehow I missed this last month -- did you get the book, and if so, did you enjoy it?
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